Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including iTunes 9, the HTC Touch Pro2, Norton Internet Security 2010, and the Zune HD.
CNET Reviews staff
Altec Lansing Mix iMT800
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Altec Lansing Mix iMT800
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: Distinct, retrolicious design; excellent sound for a system this size; FM radio; two auxiliary inputs placed on the top of the unit for easy access; portable (powered by 8 D batteries); slot for storing remote, which also clips onto a belt.
The bad: Pricey; no AM radio; would be nice if the system included a rechargeable battery; no video outputs.
The bottom line: The design of Altec Lansing's Mix iMT800 may not appeal to everyone, but its winning combination of good performance, lots of oomph, and portability makes it one of the best iPod speaker options out there.
The good: Apple's iTunes 9 software is a multimedia powerhouse with tons of options for organizing your digital media library and an integrated download store with an unrivaled selection of music, movies, TV shows, and more.
The bad: iTunes 9 isn't a small or quick software install; it's a notorious hog of system resources; and the AAC music downloads are not as universally compatible as the MP3 files offered by most competitors.
The bottom line: iTunes 9 is a natural, yet relatively minor, evolution of Apple's popular media management software and is a required download for new iPod owners.
The good: The HTC Touch Pro2 for Verizon offers world roaming capabilities as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and EV-DO Rev. A support. The smartphone features an extra-large touch screen and one of the best QWERTY keyboards we've seen to date. Verizon will also provide an Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade later this year.
The bad: The smartphone is bulky. Callers complained of tinny call quality, and the camera took poor pictures.
The bottom line: For Verizon's business customers who need more than just a messaging smartphone, the HTC Touch Pro2 delivers with more robust productivity tools and good performance.
The good: Norton Internet Security 2010 treads surprisingly lightly CPU power, while bolstering last year's reputation-based detection engine with a new behavioral-detection system.
The bad: Despite dramatic performance improvements during the past two years, Norton still doesn't leave the smallest footprint on your CPU, and new efficacy results show that while it continues to be in the top five apps at detecting malicious software, it still doesn't have the highest rate of detection.
The bottom line: Norton Internet Security 2010 builds on the immense progress it made in last year's version, maintaining a low system profile while strengthening its security framework. It's not perfect, but even Symantec's detractors should check it out.
The good: The Sound ID 400 is a slim, lightweight headset with excellent call quality, three personal-listening sound modes, multipoint technology, and a comfortable fit. It has an environmental awareness mode that lets you hear your surroundings without taking off the headset. It is also compatible with Sound ID's CompanionLink Remote Microphone.
The bad: The Sound ID 400 has skinny buttons and we would've liked a dedicated volume rocker. The environmental mode has a bit of a buzz in the background.
The bottom line: The Sound ID 400 is a comfortable headset with excellent sound quality and plenty of features.
The good: The Zune HD's brilliant OLED display, HD Radio tuner, long battery life, movie rentals, and subscription music integration finally give iPod expatriates something to shout about.
The bad: You still can't use the Zune with a Mac, Marketplace purchases require "Microsoft Points," video format support is limited, audio quality lacks advanced controls, you'll need to purchase a dock accessory for HD video output, application and game selection stinks, and the recommended music subscription plan puts the real-world cost higher than the iPod.
The bottom line: The Zune HD delivers one of the best portable music and video experiences money can buy. At a time when many people have shifted their focus to games and applications, providing a killer media experience may not be enough for potential Zune buyers.